Posts Tagged ‘cucumbers’

4
Feb

Pita Chips & Tzatziki

   Posted by: Livia    in hors d'oeuvres, Recipe, sauces, vegetarian

The secret to my pita chips are the awesome thin pitas by local halal grocer carries. Really, extremely thin pitas result in light, crispy pita chips that are more addictive than potato chips.

The ones I buy are made by Soumaya & Sons Bakery in Whitehall, PA.

Pita Chips

So split the pitas open into two separate halves, and brush the bready side lightly with olive oil. And then stack them one upon the other so that both sides end up lightly greased.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Cut the stacks into wedges and lay out a single layer of wedges on a baking sheet.

Mix together the following spice mix:

  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp powdered garlic
  • a dash of thyme or oregano
  • a dash of sumac (or zatar that has been ground smooth in a mortar)
  • a few grinds of nutmeg
  • a few grinds of pepper
  • just the tip of a knife of smoked paprika, it’s strong stuff

Sprinkle spices over pita wedges. And then sprinkle kosher salt over to taste.

Bake on middle rack of oven until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.

Tzatziki Sauce

Buy any old cheap brand of plain fat free yogurt, and turn it into awesome yogurt by letting it drain for several hours.

Peel a cucumber. Now it can be any kind of cucumber – I have used the long, fancy seedless cucumbers; regular eating cucumbers; big, fat pickling cucumbers; and, most recently, small pickling cucumbers. Actually, I think my favorite so far has been the small pickling cucumbers because they had hardly any water content. But, honestly, I’ve had great results every time. And the only time I worried about seeds at all was for the very thick pickling one.

So peel the cucumber. Then slice it lengthwise just as thinly as you can. And then the other plane lengthwise, so that you end up with long, thin strips. And then mince all the way down, so that you end up with wee tiny cucumber pieces. Dump them all into the thick yogurt.

And then I will often add about a 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic from a jar. It’s better from ajar than fresh in this case because it has had a chance to mellow out a bit.

And then maybe a pinch of salt.

And that’s it. By the next day, everything is settled in and delicious.

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I have agreed to go to an SCA casual outdoor thingy this weekend, so now I have to make a potluck item… a potluck item authentic for prior to 1600.

So you get to help me with the joy of indecision mixed with compulsive planning. [ingredients I need to buy for the recipes will be in bold]

I made a poll to let people pick:

Medieval and/or Roman picnic food: At a picnic – in the heat & humidity – I’d want to eat [note: check the recipes, no really]

Nutty dates – 9 (50.0%)
Pickled cucumber – 5 (27.8%)
Asparagus frittata (served cold) – 7 (38.9%)
Mushrooms – 6 (33.3%)
Stewed Apricots – 4 (22.2%)
Pig liver “sausages” – 1 (5.6%)
Pears in compost – 9 (50.0%)
eh, screw authentic! I’ve a hankering for more strawberries in balsalmic vinegar – 6 (33.3%)

Nutty Dates
Stone dates, and stuff with nuts and ground pepper. Roll in salt, fry in cooked honey, and serve

Pickled cucumbers
Prepare cucumber with pepper, pennyroyal [lovage and oregano], honey or reduced wine, fish sauce, and vinegar. Sometimes asafoetida is added.

Asparagus frittata
Put in the mortar asparagus tips, pound, add wine, pass through a sieve. [note: I have a wee food processor now!] Pound pepper, lovage, fresh coriander, savory, onion, wine, fish sauce, and oil. Put puree and spices into a greased shallow pan, and if you wish break eggs over it so that the mixture sets. Sprinkle finely ground pepper over it and serve.

Mushrooms
Cook mushrooms in reduced (white?) wine with a bouquet of fresh coriander. When they have cooked, remove the bouquet and serve.

Stewed apricots
Take small apricots, clean, stone, and plunge in cold water, then arrange in a shallow pan. Pound pepper, dried mint, moisten with fish sauce, add honey, reduced sweet wine, wine, and vinegar. Pour in the pan over the apricots, add a little oil, and cook over a low fire. When it is boiling, thicken with starch. Sprinkle with pepper and serve.

Pig liver “sausages”
Make incisions in the liver with a reed, steep in fish sauce, pepper, lovage, and two laurel berries. Wrap in sausage casing, grill, and serve.

Pears in compost (note: only recipe not from Apicius – and, yeah, that’s what the title said – think compote)
Put 3/4 cup white wine, 1 tsp cinnamon powder, and 1/4 cup sugar in a large pot. Heat, and stir until the sugar melts. Add dates, pitted and sliced into thin strips; 1/2 tsp sandalwood powder [saffron & nutmeg]; 1 teaspoon ginger powder; and a dash of salt. Stir. Remove from heat and set aside. Put 2 firm ripe pears, cored and washed, in a 2-quart saucepan with enough water to cover [+ some wine for flavor/color] to cover them. Heat to boiling and cook for 10 minutes, or until pears are fork-tender. Remove pears from the water and cool. Slice the pears into eighths lengthwise and add slices to the wine syrup. Stir gently to coat the pears with the syrup. Heat the syrup to boiling and cook for 5 minutes, or until liquid is slightly thickened and turns red [yellow]. Remove from heat and pour the pears and syrup into a serving dish. Chill. Serve cold.

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